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Ittzés Gergely: Spare Time Duets
for two flutes
Those who know my flute works will find this flute duets cycle quite surprising. My works are generally built on the new technique of the flute and often present strenuous difficulties and a modern language. Although humor appears here and there in my older compositions, too, and some of them lean toward popular styles, these duets are unusual for me: they were created precisely to serve the light entertainment of the performer and the listener without any ulterior motive. (In my youth, I spent ten years playing in an acoustic fusion band, Talizmán; this experience can be considered an antecedent of these works.)
Written in a traditional language and notation, these pieces are musically and technically uncompli-cated and can be enjoyed by students, amateurs, and the general audience. They are also appropriate for teacher and pupil everyday duets. I refrained from writing dramatic passages with much harmonic tension. Instead, I tried to come up with catchy melodies with characteristics of pop, film music, musical theater, jazz, or Latin styles, that we can even whistle when we are in a good mood—most of these melodies came to my mind this way at first.
However, an important pedagogical purpose also appears here: one can count on rhythmic challenges typical of popular music genres rather than deriving from the contemporary classical language. Here, besides paying detailed attention to having metric precision, one has to recognize and adopt the proper phrasing, articulation and nuances of the sound typical of the style, especially concerning the syncopated, off-beat accents and feeling the groove that keeps the music circulating. Beyond that, I wanted to cover all the possible key signatures in these ten pieces even at the price that I had to notate the two voices of the last two movements in different keys.
These little compositions were created as a "relaxing process" immediately after I finished my big project, The Flute Expedition, a series introducing extended flute techniques and the world of contemporary music through 42 solo pieces. Unlike this other series that took me years to finish, these duets were born within a few days, and it was an entertaining spare-time activity for me, as I hope it will be for many flutists and audiences around the world. The titles of the individual movements all refer to this, too, determining periods and situations when time can be handled freely and when we might find a partner with whom we want to spend a few pleasant minutes playing these duets.
Tianjin, April 20, 2022